nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2013‒03‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Why Do Charter Schools Fail? - An Analysis of Charter School Survival in New Jersey By Julia Schwenkenberg; James VanderHoff
  2. Stereotypes, Discrimination and the Gender Gap in Science By Breda, Thomas; Ly, Son Thierry
  3. Education and Health: The Role of Cognitive Ability By Govert Bijwaard; Hans van Kippersluis; Justus Veenman
  4. The Tortuous Ways of the Market: Looking at the European Integration of Higher Education from an Economic Perspective By Pedro Teixeira
  5. Post-Socialist Transition and the Intergenerational Transmission of Education in Kyrgyzstan By Tilman Brück; Damir Esenaliev
  6. "Improving Early-Grade Literacy in East Africa:Experimental Evidence from Kenya and Uganda" By ADRIENNE M. LUCAS
  7. Faith-inspired, Private Secular, and Public Schools in sub-Saharan Africa: Market Share, Reach to the Poor, Cost, and Satisfaction By Wodon, Quentin
  8. The Evolution of Canadian Wages over the Last Three Decades By Morissette, Rene<br /> Picot, Garnett<br /> Lu, Yuqian
  9. The long-run Relationship between Human Capital and Economic Growth in Sweden By Awel, Ahmed Mohammed
  10. Setting reasonable performance targets for public service delivery By Newman, John L.; Azevedo, Joao Pedro
  11. Equal access to high quality early education and care? Evidence from England and lessons from other countries By Ludovica Gambaro; Kitty Stewart; Jane Waldfogel

  1. By: Julia Schwenkenberg; James VanderHoff
    Abstract: The reasons for charter school failure may determine if charter school competition improves public education. We estimate survival regressions to assess the effects of various factors on the probability of school failure. We find that students’ test scores are the most important determinant of survival: a one standard deviation increase reduces the probability of failure by at least 72%. Higher expenditures on facilities and a longer waitlist result in smaller but significant reductions in the probability of failure. Factors like administrative and class room expenditures, total enrollment, and student demographics do not have significant effects on school survival.
    Keywords: Charter schools, Education policy, School choice, Charter school failure
    JEL: I21 H75
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Breda, Thomas; Ly, Son Thierry
    Abstract: We investigate the link between subject-related gender stereotypes and gender discrimination, and its consequences for the gender gap in science. Stereotypes and social norms influence girls' academic self-concept and push girls to choose humanities rather than science. Do recruiters reinforce this strong selection by discriminating more against girls in more male-connoted subjects? Taking the entrance exam of a French higher education institution (the Ecole Normale Supérieure) as a natural experiment, we show the opposite: discrimination works in favor of females in more male-connoted subjects (e.g. math, philosophy) and in favor of males in more female-connoted subjects (e.g. literature, biology), inducing a rebalancing of gender ratios between students recruited for research careers in science and humanities majors. We identify discrimination from systematic differences in students' scores between oral tests (not gender blind) and anonymous written tests (gender blind). By making comparisons of these oral/written score differences across subjects for a given student, we are able to control both for students’ abilities in each subject and their overall ability at oral exams. Selection issues, external validity and the mechanisms driving this discrimination running against stereotypes are also discussed.
    Keywords: discrimination; gender stereotypes; natural experiment; sex and science
    JEL: I23 J16
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Govert Bijwaard (NIDI, The Hague, IZA, Bonn); Hans van Kippersluis (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Justus Veenman (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We aim to disentangle the relative contributions of (i) cognitive ability, and (ii) education on health and mortality using a structural equation model suggested by Conti et al. (2010). We extend their model by allowing for a duration dependent variable, and an ordinal educational variable. Data come from a Dutch cohort born around 1940, including detailed measures of cognitive ability and family background at age 12. The data are subsequently linked to the mortality register 1995-2011, such that we observe mortality between ages 55 and 75. The results suggest that the treatment effect of education (i.e. the effect of entering secondary school as opposed to leaving school after primary education) is positive and amounts to a 4 years gain in life expectancy, on average. Decomposition results suggest that the raw survival differences between educational groups are about equally split between a 'treatment effect' of education, and a 'selection effect' on basis of cognitive ability and family background.
    Keywords: Education; Cognitive Ability; Mortality; Structural Equation Model; Duration Model
    JEL: C41 I14 I24
    Date: 2013–03–15
  4. By: Pedro Teixeira
    Abstract: European Higher education is facing times of significant change that has been affecting its identity and the political expectations regarding its societal roles. At the European level this has been fostered by a trend that increasingly regarded higher education as a tool for economic and social development. Hence, we have seen a reconfiguration of the sector alongside market rules, often through policy initiatives and government intervention. In this text we reflect about these developments by focusing in the emergence of a more integrated higher education area increasingly shaped by market forces and economic rationales. We reflect about the emerging and potential effects of greater integration in the European Higher Education Area.
    Keywords: differentiation; economics
    Date: 2013–01–31
  5. By: Tilman Brück; Damir Esenaliev
    Abstract: We investigate long-term trends in the intergenerational transmission of education in a low income country undergoing a transition from socialism to a market economy. We draw on evidence from Kyrgyzstan using data from three household surveys collected in 1993, 1998 and 2011. We find that Kyrgyzstan, like Eastern European middle income transition economies, generally maintained high educational mobility, comparable to the levels during Soviet times. However, we find that the younger cohorts, who were exposed to the transition during their school years, experienced a rapid decline in educational mobility. We also document that gender differences in schooling and educational mobility, found among older-aged individuals, disappeared in the younger population.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, educational attainment, gender, transition economy, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia
    JEL: J62 P36 I25
    Date: 2013
  6. By: ADRIENNE M. LUCAS (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Primary school enrollments have increased rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa, spurring concerns about low levels of learning. We analyze field experiments in Kenya and Uganda that assessed whether the Reading to Learn program, implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation in both countries, improved early-grade literacy as measured by common assessments. We find that Ugandan literacy (in Lango) increased by 0.2s. We find a smaller effect (0.08s) on a Kenyan literacy test in Swahili. We find no evidence that differential effects are explained by baseline differences in students or classrooms, or by implementation fidelity. We conclude that differences between countries can likely be attributed to differential effective exposure to the literacy treatment in the tested languages. Students in Kenya were tested in Swahili, which is not necessarily the primary language of instruction, despite official policy.
    Keywords: education, literacy, teacher training, Kenya, Uganda, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: I2 O15 H52
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to build a stronger evidence base on the role of faith-inspired and private secular schools in sub-Saharan Africa using nationally representative household surveys as well as qualitative data. Six main findings emerge from the study: (1) Across a sample of 16 countries, the average market share for faith-inspired schools is at 10-15 percent, and the market share for private secular schools is of a similar order of magnitude; (2) On average faith-inspired schools do not reach the poor more than other groups; they also do not reach the poor more than public schools, but they do reach the poor significantly more than private secular schools; (3) The cost of faith-inspired schools for households is higher than that of public schools, possibly because of a lack of access to public funding, but lower than that of private secular schools; (4) Faith-inspired and private secular schools have higher satisfaction rates among parents than public schools; (5) Parents using faith-inspired schools place a stronger emphasis on religious education and moral values; and (6) Students in faith-inspired and private schools perform better than those in public schools, but this may be due in part to self-selection.
    Keywords: Education; Private Schools; Faith; Development; Poverty; Satisfaction; Cost
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2013–02
  8. By: Morissette, Rene<br /> Picot, Garnett<br /> Lu, Yuqian
    Abstract: This study examines how real wages of Canadian workers evolved from 1981 to 2011 across five dimensions: gender, age, education, industry, and occupation.
    Keywords: Labour, Education, training and learning, Wages, salaries and other earnings, Industries, Outcomes of education, Occupations
    Date: 2013–03–15
  9. By: Awel, Ahmed Mohammed
    Abstract: The relationship between education and economic growth has been one of the fundamental themes of economic analysis. Despite the growing interest in the relationship between growth and education, and despite the strong theoretical foundations for a key role of education/human capital in economic growth, the empirical evidences, particularly those using causality analyses, are fragile at best. By utilizing the recently developed series of human capital, this paper examined the causal relationship between human capital and economic growth for Sweden over the period 1870-2000. The result from the Granger causality test shows that there is bidirectional causality running from human capital to output per worker and vice versa. Moreover, using vector error correction model, the paper shows that human capital has a significant positive impact on economic growth in Sweden.
    Keywords: education, human capital, economic growth
    JEL: I21 I25 O15 O41
    Date: 2013–03
  10. By: Newman, John L.; Azevedo, Joao Pedro
    Abstract: Reaching agreement on a reasonable performance target is a challenge, with costs associated with getting it wrong. Attention in the literature has focused on the potential negative effects of gaming or of creaming. However, even if there is no gaming or creaming taking place, there can still be costs associated with setting a level of the performance target that is either too low or too high. On the one hand, if the negotiated performance target is too low, there is a strong risk that the target would be met without any change in behavior or performance from what would have been realized without a performance management system. In that case, there would be no benefit -- only the cost of covering the administrative costs associated with developing the monitoring and management systems. On the other hand, if the negotiated performance target is too high, there could also be significant costs. The exact nature of the costs depends on which one of two unattractive options the principal chooses to follow once it becomes apparent that the performance targets were set unrealistically high. If the principal chooses simply to waive any possible repercussions for the agents for not meeting the performance targets, this can undermine the credibility of the system. If the principal insists on holding agents to meeting the performance targets -- no matter how unrealistic they were -- this can breed resentment and adversely affect future productivity. This paper considers some approaches to target setting that have been used in the literature and proposes an approach based on the use of quantile regressions to construct a Characteristic Adjusted Performance distribution of performance to guide the selection of targets. The paper then presents two concrete examples of applications of this approach related to the setting of targets on School Test Scores and Improvement in Homicide rates in Police Districts in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
    Keywords: E-Business,Tertiary Education,Teaching and Learning,Educational Sciences,Education For All
    Date: 2013–03–01
  11. By: Ludovica Gambaro; Kitty Stewart; Jane Waldfogel
    Date: 2013–03

This nep-edu issue is ©2013 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.